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A question about relationship counselling and bereavement

(6 Posts)
vexatiousnamechanger Tue 02-Sep-08 19:24:19

i suffered a bereavement recently and am feeling a bit shite still, although functioning pretty well i think. at the same time, my relationship with my OH has gone downhill, mostly because i've stopped putting any effort in i think. i really REALLY don't want sex with him, and pretty much cringe when he comes near me. our relationship has never been brilliant and for some time i've thought that we would be better off apart, but obviously with the DCs its not that simple. basically i don't love him and i'm not sure that i want to continue. however, because of the DCs i recognise i ought to at least give it a go.

my question is: does a fairly recent bereavement mean that relationship counsellors would just tell me to go away and give it another six months, or would they be prepared to engage with us now?

any other wisdom/insights gratefully received. if you recognise me please keep schtum!

reikimarie Tue 02-Sep-08 19:33:08

Well I'm no experienced counsellor or anything of that ilk, but my experience of bereavement is certainly that things appear quite different in certain respects and that anything that had underlying problems prior to the bereavement would appear more magnified when processing the bereavement - indeed I am sure it is known that a lot of people wish to just retreat into themselves for a while to think things through. Intimacy and grief don't necessarily sit well together I guess.

Unless a counsellor has had experience of bereavements and how they impact on couples I really don't know why they would say go away, however I did go to a very good Relate counsellor for a while upon my break up and although she helped massively with that she knew nothing about bereavement, I don't think they can know everything I suppose.

I don't know if that helps but all I can say is try and take it easy and if it helps go and find someone to get things out of your system.

By the way CRUSE have a great website and book list, there may be something there of help to you in terms of bereavement.

Good luck with it all!

vexatiousnamechanger Tue 02-Sep-08 22:15:24

thankyou reiki. i know that common sense dictates that i ought to hold off on making any major decisions for a while, but it's hard to keep up a pretence with my OH when i really want him to bugger off and leave me alone. unfortunately we don't communicate very often or very well.

i'll have a look at the CRUSE site.

Bumpsadaisie Wed 03-Sep-08 10:38:02


Sorry to hear of your loss and your difficulties with your OH.

Just a thought, but bereavement often has a huge effect on surviving relationships. Relationships are all about being attached to people you love, when someone dies, an attachment is broken and its very painful (and we grieve over it).

The fact that that attachment was broken can make bereaved people very wary in their surviving relationships; unconsciously, people often withdraw from those around them because the bereavement makes them want to protect themselves from losing any more attachments.

Could your negative feelings about your OH be some sort of "defence mechanism" - you've suddenly realised in a very stark and painful way that all relationships are finite, so, to protect yourself from the loss of losing your OH one day, you are increasingly seeing and feeling the negative? Just a thought.

I think bereavement counselling would be a good idea - because this looks at the potential effect of the bereavement on current relationships too.

Best of luck

vexatiousnamechanger Wed 03-Sep-08 14:08:13

thanks bumps. i'm sure you're right about the effects of bereavement. i had ben pretty fed up with our relationship before the bereavement, but then it involved a long illness so i suppose it's possible that i was already anticipating the death and this was affecting my feelings for some time.

i had hoped to confine myself to just the one sort of counselling... i might have to go on the game to finance it all grin

BlaDeBla Wed 03-Sep-08 19:22:31

I wouldn't worry too much about different sorts of councelling for now - most therapists should be trained to listen to a wide variety of things. Dh and I talked to somebody for a long time, and more recently I had a fantastic therapist. It's not their speciality that matters at first, it's that you trust them. You probably won't want to talk to more than one person at a time about different things - it can become quite confusing.

I am longing to talk to someone about my family situation at the moment but haven't afforded the time or the money...

Most councelling services offer a sliding scale of charging. We were paying as little as £5/session at one point. We were broke!

A relationship councellor should NOT turn you away. It is a perfectly good way to start!

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